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Why is my dog biting her puppies?

Having a dog at home comes with some form of pride, which becomes even intense when your canine friend gives birth to some puppies. However, you may be concerned when your female dog starts biting her puppies.

This has been a major concern among most dog owners. This is why the issue needs to be addressed as early as now. In this article, you shall have the answer to such a question and gather more information concerning the same subject. Follow through to get a clearer glimpse.

Why is My Dog Biting Her Puppies?

Biting the puppies can either be on the positive or negative side. One thing you should never forget is that your dog has no hands. Its front legs can be confused with hands, but it cannot use them to carry its kids. In such a case, the only remaining option is to use its mouth to move the puppies from one position to the other.

On the other hand, biting puppies can be caused for different reasons, especially when the bite hurts the little ones. Dogs have feelings, too, just like human beings. They get angry, upset, irritated, and other emotions like human beings do.

Additionally, not all female dogs are meant to be good mothers. Therefore, if your female canine friend feels threatened, disturbed, or stressed by the surrounding noise, the result can be hurting those around her, most especially her puppies.

Aggressiveness towards the little dogs can also be caused by a lack of experience or a past bad experience with other puppies. This mostly happens with first-time mothers who may be alarmed by their puppies’ unpredictable movements and behaviors. That is why talking to a professional dog trainer is recommended if you notice anything weird about your female dog towards her little ones.

Might My Dog Hurt her Puppies?

Hurting the puppies is one side of the story. Mother dogs can bite and not injure their babies. However, there comes a time when they inflict injuries on the young ones from deep and serious bites. In such a case, you need to consult a veterinarian or a dog trainer to help you understand why that could happen. Most of the time, a mother’s bite is not harmful to the puppies, especially when moving them from one place to the other.

When injuries occur, the main reasons for that could be:

Punishment

Sometimes, you may realize that your dog bites its puppies and injures them as a form of punishment. This mostly happens if one of the pups is aggressive towards its siblings or demands too much of mum’s attention and pushes the others away. In that case, the mother will bite the puppy on its muzzle as a way of getting it back into good behavior.

A Cure for Pain

Dogs hurt so much when they get an injury, just like human beings. Therefore, your female canine friend may bite their puppies as a show of pain, so you should take the necessary steps. That is why it is essential to keep track of your dog’s health, because injury can spell hurt to young ones.

Dog injuries can lead to insensitivity, which may, later on, lead to her hurting the little puppies. The best thing would be to consult a qualified veterinarian who understands how to care for dog wounds.

Protection

Dogs are animals that can get protective, especially of their territory. That shows they possess predatory aggression, which is seen in different animals. Sometimes, your canine pet may feel that her children pose a threat of overtaking her kingdom, which is why they may end up biting and hurting the little ones.

Most of the time, such bites are not only painful, but they can cause some severe injuries to the bitten puppy. This is why you need to understand what it takes your dog to secure its territory. If they are too protective, it would be better to keep the little ones away until the mum is comfortable to feed them.

Fear

It is unlikely for your female dog to fear her children, but it can happen in very few instances, especially if you are dealing with a new mom. Your dog is female – therefore, if she gives birth to male puppies, she may feel intimidated and threatened when it comes to losing her kingdom. This is why professionals advise against keeping the little ones and the mother in the same room until they generate a mutual relationship.

 Unhealthy Puppies

It comes a time when the small dogs born become ill. This is a common phenomenon considering that there is a rise in respiratory diseases and other conditions that come along as a young dog grows. It is easy to identify such issues as early as your canine pet gives birth, but the mother notices it before you even do.

In this case, it is not about biting but about eating it whole and raw. Sometimes, your dog may be forced to make a tough decision, especially when deciding whether to spend more time with the healthy young ones or the sick ones. In such a case, the mother may choose to kill the ill puppy to either help them escape the agony or simply create more time for their healthy siblings.

Inhibiting a Bite

Most of the work that mother dogs do is to train the young ones to inhibit the bite. This means that your female canine friend may be teaching the young ones how not to bite too hard, especially when they play with their siblings. It happens so often when your dog’s puppies are playing. However, if the mum has appropriately trained them, they may understand the pain of biting hard.

Hormonal Imbalance

Your dog resulting in cannibalism can be caused by many factors, including the feeling that the puppies are not hers. Like humans, canines produce a lot of hormones during birth. Some of these hormones are responsible for identifying the pups, which play a pivotal role in creating the maternal bond.

A lack of these hormones can lead to parental neglect, which is common when a dog gives birth through a caesarian section. After such an operation, the mother wakes up to a strange litter of pups, implying that things can go haywire quickly.

Should I Separate My Dog From Her Puppies?

Dog bites can be severe for the little ones, especially if you consider the reasons mentioned above. It would be wise to separate the puppies from their mum if you notice any form of violence or unwanted behavior from the mother to its puppies.

However, it would help if you remained vigilant because separating them may spell disaster in terms of the relationship they build with each other. Separating your dog and the puppies comes in handy when their relationship is not going so well.

Such separation has some added advantages in that you will be protecting both from the disaster that may befall them if they stayed together. On the other hand, you may separate them and bring a bigger problem in the sense that the mother may not recognize her puppies once they get back. In such a case, you will realize that matters of indiscipline by the puppies and mistreatment from the mother will skyrocket.

Puppies need their mum, especially when it comes to lactating. However, you should be keen on how your dog gets along with her little ones. There comes a time when all puppies die or irritate the mother in her first months after birth.

This is why it is recommendable to be on top of things when it comes to an understanding of how your female canine friend behaves with her kids. If you notice any weird behavior, it would be nice to consult an expert who can help you get a clearer glimpse of why your dog is biting her puppies.

Is it Normal for a Mother Dog to Bite Her Puppies?

Biting the puppies should be looked at from two different angles, which can be normal or abnormal. Normal puppy biting is evident if the bite does not injure the young one. This happens mostly when the mum needs to move her kids from one location to the next.

However, if the bite causes injuries to the puppies, then it is not normal. No mother wants to hurt her children, and it is the same thing with your canine pet or any other animal. In such a case, you need to identify the problem, such as the ones explained above.

If the feelings are right, your dog may bite and even injure the little ones as a way to show you that they are stressed and disappointed. This is where it gets extra critical, because you have to understand your dog’s temper and condition. That is why it is crucial to keep an open eye on your canine pet, especially once they give birth and bring up the puppies, to ensure that everything is in order.

It is usual for a dog to bite its puppies, especially at a young age when they need to be moved from one place to the next. However, if you notice some injuries to the puppies from the mother’s bite, separating them would be the best thing. The mother may have had a nasty experience with previous pregnancies or puppies, which may lead them to injure the current little ones.

How To Get My Dog To Stop Biting Her Puppies?

Once you notice that your canine friend is biting and injuring its kids, there are several steps you can take to prevent it. Here are some of the effective ways:

Training

Nothing beats some good training when it comes to everything about your dog, including stopping the habit of biting its puppies. Fortunately, there is a bunch of professionals out there who specialize in this particular sector. Therefore, you can never come short of the options you have.

Keep a Close Eye

Being on the watch out for your canine friends means you understand every move they make.  It may be challenging to do so, especially if you have a tight schedule. However, you can inform your housekeeper or anyone else at home to stay alert about how your dog behaves around its puppies.

Avoid Aggressiveness

Aggressive and rude punishments to your dog may lead to it becoming violent with its offspring. This mostly happens when your female canine companion is a new mum. This is the most critical moment when you should be careful about how you treat your dog.

Consider Using a Muzzle

Muzzles play an essential role in keeping your dog’s mouth shut, especially if you notice some violent behavior towards its puppies and people as well. If a muzzle seems like torture, you should have the situation under control every time.  

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